It has been buzzing around the search community for a while, but now it’s official, Google has (again) made changes to how the search results are presented. The long awaited change is mostly focussed on the navigation which moves from the left side to the top.
With the new design elements Google wants to give the search results “a bit more breathing room” and more focus on the actual answers people are looking for, which basically means Knowledge Graph gets more attention.
As you can see in the screenshot Google has moved everything over a little to the left making the left pane empty and smaller and the right pane, where the Knowledge Graph results are presented wider. The navigation which you were used to find on the left now moves to the top.
It will be interesting to see if that specific navigation will now be used more than before. The advanced search settings were mostly used by the more ‘savy’ users. Putting it on top might trigger others to use it as well.
Moving the navigation also makes sense when it comes to the rapidly changing behaviour where more and more people are moving to tablets and phones. A left pane would then be more clutter than useful.
The changes have already been rolled out to tablet and mobile phones and is now also available on Google.com. The local Google tld’s haven’t got this change yet. Google says they will do this as soon as they can.